Friday, June 26, 2009

'Doctor Who: The Next Doctor' review - Sepinwall on TV

In today's column, I review "Doctor Who: The Next Doctor," the first of the five "Doctor Who" specials that will bring an end to the David Tennant/Russell T. Davies era of the series.

As both "The Next Doctor" and "Planet of the Dead" have already aired in England -- and have also therefore been illegally downloaded by many fans in America -- I'm going to remind you of the usual rule about how we're sticking to the American broadcast schedule in terms of spoilers. So no talking about any plot specifics of this movie (or the next one) in this post. I'll have a separate post up tomorrow night for discussion of "The Next Doctor" (and "Planet of the Dead" will still be verboten there). And you can read the transcript of an interview I did with Davies about "Doctor Who" and the upcoming "Torchwood: Children of Earth."

10 comments:

Chris the TV Sage said...

I decided to finally give this show a look when the summer rerun season started. I'm already up to starting series 4. A scant few clunkers scattered about a truly epic and wonderful series - I hate that I waited so long.

J said...

Thanks for the interview. It can be easy to find faults with Davies' work, but it's hard to hate him when he's so relentlessly positive.

I remain perplexed why there's such a long gap between broadcast in the UK and in the US. Whatever licensing issues they have, it's not like they don't know episodes are coming. I'd assumed that Sci-Fi or BBC-Am or whoever was just waiting to air all five specials together (which would make sense over here as each ep isn't as big an event). But if they're going to scatter them, too, why not air them the same week as the UK? I'm sure it would prevent a couple million torrent downloads.

Anonymous said...

I'm getting Page Not Found when clicking the link. Thanks.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Link's been fixed. Thanks.

Nicole said...

I am not sure the reason for the gap in airing, especially when the new series first started, it aired about a week after the original UK (at least in Canada), but then the gap became longer and longer, despite the popularity of the show increasing. I think network people have yet to understand that today's audience doesn't want to wait forever for these kinds of shows and will find other ways to watch them. In this case, the Christmas-like theme makes very little sense airing in July. Here's hoping that the final specials air pretty quickly after, because fans will want to see the final moments of Number Ten, arguably the most popular doctor since Tom Baker.

It was nice to see Morissey and Tennant back together again, albeit in such a different non singing context.

Alan Sepinwall said...

If you go into the interview thread, someone from Britain there is complaining that they're not getting to see "Torchwood: Children of Earth" far in advance of us. It's a no-win scenario.

purpletoonlink said...
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Rick said...

I'm surprised to read you call The Next Doctor a 'trifle', especially compared to the other specials. I always thought the specials were the hokiest of episodes. I can barely make it through the Titanic one. Next Doctor, on the other hand, I thought was very good- at least until they start focusing on the Cybermen rather than the Morissey/Tennant storyline.

Nicole said...

I would say that the Next Doctor is far less a trifle than Planet of the Dead, but overall, few of them compare to the Family of Blood two parter. Even the finales come off as more fluff than content, because they are always increasingly bigger, and are like a UK version of a Michael Bay movie (but with actual acting).

I am hoping that the final Number Ten episodes have more emotional depth than previous finales. Doomsday was probably the best Ten finale, whereas the rest have been a reunion of Daleks, Cybermen and whatever companions happen to be hanging around. (Giving Rose a clone Ten did not approach emotional depth for me and basically undid what Doomsday had so perfectly created).

I am looking forward to what Moffat does with his Doctor.

GrammySammy said...

Moffat wrote The Doctor Dances, arguably the best eppy ever!!!